The Cannes Film Festival and Netflix have had a rocky relationship for some time now, leaving many surprised when Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories - both distributed by Netflix - were included in the festival lineup. This decision has upset the movie theater exhibitors who are part of the festival. However, it seems most movie theaters are not interested in a non-exclusive theatrical window. The film, starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, is in competition for the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm), the highest award at Cannes. Films are prohibited from streaming or appearing on subscription video on demand for three years after playing in theaters. It has offered theaters the opportunity of a day-and-date release (opening a movie in theaters simultaneously as it debuts on the service), something large exhibitors thus far have rejected. The festival said it was "pleased to welcome a new operator which has chose to invest in cinema but wants to reiterate its support to the traditional mode of exhibition of cinema in France and in the world".
"People these days watch movies in theatres or via Blu-ray, legal online download and Netflix".
The move angered French cinema owners, who forced Cannes effectively to slap a ban on future Netflix-backed movies at the world's top film festival.
"The establishment closing ranks against us".
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho and Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of the USA video streaming service Netflix give a thumbs up after a news conference for Bong's new film "Okja" at a Seoul hotel on May 15, 2017.
Exhibitors believe that Netflix is setting a troubling precedent for the industry. The film was produced by Plan B Entertainment, Lewis Pictures and Kate Street Picture Company in association with Netflix. I'm sure you can guess correctly.
"I recently saw a French movie from the 1960s in which a character lamented, "Cinema is all doomed because of TV", but look what is happening now", he said.
The film reportedly bombed, with Netflix taking the highly unusual step of not releasing its box office figures.
"I would love Venice, Berlin, Toronto and Sundance to do the same and there would not be many French films in selection in these countries".
But from next year Cannes will require every film in competition to be shown in French cinemas afterwards, potentially preventing Netflix movies from competing for prizes. "This is a colonialist behavior and a shame". Only Korea, US and the United Kingdom will have theatrical release.